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How has neuroscience affected lay understandings of personhood? A review of the evidence
O'Connor, Cliodhna; Joffe, Helene
The prominence of neuroscience in the public sphere has escalated in recent years, provoking questions about how the public engages with neuroscientific ideas. Commentaries on neuroscience’s role in society often present it as having revolutionary implications, fundamentally overturning established beliefs about personhood. The purpose of this article is to collate and review the extant empirical evidence on the influence of neuroscience on commonsense understandings of personhood. The article evaluates the scope of neuroscience’s presence in public consciousness and examines the empirical evidence for three frequently encountered claims about neuroscience’s societal influence: that neuroscience fosters a conception of the self that is based in biology, that neuroscience promotes conceptions of individual fate as predetermined, and that neuroscience attenuates the stigma attached to particular social categories. It concludes that many neuroscientific ideas have assimilated in ways that perpetuate rather than challenge existing modes of understanding self, others and society.
Keyword(s): lay expertise; popularization of science; public understanding of science; folk psychology; neuroscience; public engagement with science
Publication Date:
2013
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): O'Connor, Cliodhna and Joffe, Helene (2013) How has neuroscience affected lay understandings of personhood? A review of the evidence. Public Understanding of Science, 22 (3). pp. 254-268. ISSN 0963-6625
Publisher(s): SAGE
File Format(s): other
Related Link(s): http://mural.maynoothuniversity.ie/6681/1/COC-Neuroscience-Personhood.pdf
First Indexed: 2020-04-02 06:42:39 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:42:39